Molino Basin - Hiking east to the Saddle - Part 1
The Molino trailhead is located along the Catalina highway, past the Babad Doag trailhead, and before the Gordon Hirabayashi recreation area, campground, and trailhead. At the Molino trailhead there are toilets. If you park right at the trailhead, you can park no charge. If you go back into the campground area, they'll charge you to park.
From the trailhead, you can go southwest, or northeast(across catalina highway). For this hike I went northeast across the highway. There is an arizona trail sign right there at the trailhead. This section of trail is part of the Arizona trail, and connects Molino Basin with the Rincon mountains section of the Arizona trail.
The official name for this hike is the Bellota Ranch trail #15 or just Bellota trail #15. It stretches from the Molino Basin to Reddington Road, which is the name of the road that Tanque Verde Road turns into as you drive east from the metro Tucson area. At Reddington road, The Bellota Ranch Trail #15 connects with the Italian Spring Trail #95.
For this hike, I hiked from the trailhead northeast up to the saddle, and took some pictures going and coming, and up at the saddle looking southeast and southwest from the saddle.
The trail takes you across the catalina highway, and then along the arroyo/ stream that goes by the trailhead. You cross the stream headed east, and the trail winds around toward the highway and then back north.
It's a rocky trail that continues, at times a little steep, but overall not too bad. One should bring their trekking poles on this hike.
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Last Update: June 18, 2015
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